While there is no shortage of studies and think-pieces explaining why young adults don’t vote in high percentages, don’t tell Nicki Whitehead it’s because they don’t care.
“We do care,” says the Missouri Southern junior political science major. “But there are barriers that can get in the way of voting.”
The Political Science Association, the student organization for which Whitehead serves as president, paired with the International & Political Affairs program to host three voter registration events on campus this fall.
“For college students who are going to school but live out of town, they don’t always have time to drive home to go to their polling place,” says Whitehead. “A lot of states have very confusing Secretary of State websites (that provide voting information).”
The club offered paper registration forms, tablets for registering online and information on how students could locate their polling place.
Dr. Nicole Shoaf, assistant professor of political science and adviser to the PSA club, says she saw an increased interest and enthusiasm about the upcoming election among her students.
“That’s in part due to the president tweeting his messaging directly to the country, and the sheer fact that because of the pandemic people are paying more attention to state and local government than they have in past years,” she says.